Annual Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals set for this weekend

ELMA — It is an annual celebration of the modified cars, bringing together the Northwest’s best modified drivers to the three-eights of a mile clay oval in Elma for two days of racing.

On Friday and Saturday, the 18th annual Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals will take over Grays Harbor Raceway. Nick Trenchard, the defending Modified Nationals champion, will return to try and become a three-time event winner.

On Friday, the main event will be the Race of Champions, which will feature former Modified Nationals champions as well as Northwest modified track champions. The 20-car, 25-lap feature has been one of the highlights of the weekend with its close racing.

Saturday’s main event will be determined by Friday’s two sets of heat races and various main event races. The A championship main event will be 40 laps, with 24 cars competing.

Last year, Trenchard outlasted the field to win his second title in three years. The 2014 champion settled into the pack as cautions and wrecks made life difficult. With eight laps remaining, Trenchard moved into the top-three spots.

From there, Trenchard made his move for the lead. A late spinout brought out the green-white-checkered finish and Trenchard held off a charge from Mark Carrell and Brad Martin for the victory.

This weekend, Trenchard will be come up to Elma with a large contingent of drivers following him up Interstate-5. Eugene’s Jesse Williamson won the Wild West Modified Shootout Speedweek in July, his fourth career IMCA Wild West Modified Shootout title.

Locally, Cosmopolis’ Tom Sweatman leads the track season points standings by 17 points over Shelton’s Scott Miller. Seabeck’s Kyler Moore is third, with Oakville’s Brian Harding, Aberdeen’s Zack Simpson and Olympia’s Tyson Blood close behind.

Sweatman and Miller each have two wins this season, with Victoria, B.C.’s Lane Zerbin earning a win this past Saturday in the run up to this weekend’s event. Corbett, Ore’s Collen Winebarger has three race wins this season and will be a favorite to win the title on Saturday.

This weekend’s event will also be a part of the Washington Modified Tour. Kyler Moore leads the tour standings by 28 points over Scott Miller. Sedro Woolley’s Kevin Smith is third and he will lead a contingent of modified drivers from the Skagit Speedway circuit to Elma this weekend.

Smith leads the Skagit Speedway modified track season standings with five wins and a 62-point lead over Rick Smith, of Mount Vernon. Long-time modified nationals challenger Lawrence O’Connor, of Port Hardy, B.C., has three wins at Skagit this season and Kyler Moore has a modified feature win as well.

The Pacific Hardtop Racing Association Dwarf Midgets will also run this weekend as the supporting class.

For ticket information, contact Grays Harbor Raceway at (360) 757-6959.

Past Champions

2000 – Gus Cooper

2001 – Brian Poppa

2002 – Kellen Chadwick

2003 – Kellen Chadwick

2004 – Jon DeBenedetti

2005 – Jon DeBenedetti

2006 – No Winner

2007 – Jon DeBenedetti

2008 – Blair Shoemaker

2009 – Jesse Williamson

2010 – Jason Beaulieu

2011 – Kyle Casson

2012 – Mark Wauge

2013 – Jeremy Shank

2014 – Nick Trenchard

2015 – Jeremy Richey

2016 – Nick Trenchard